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Tom Arth listens to a question by the media on Tuesday inside the Stadium Club at Finley Stadium.

A youth movement has started for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program.

The first step in that process took place early last week when UTC administration hired 35-year old Tom Arth as coach, and since then he's been putting together a staff.

Although it's not completely finished, most of the pieces are in place.

On Thursday, Arth announced the hiring of the majority of his first UTC staff. With the exception of one member — Chris Hurd, who will coach tight ends and special teams — all of those hires had already been reported by the Times Free Press.

Hurd spent the past three seasons as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Florida Atlantic. He played linebacker at North Texas from 2000 to '03, and his coaching stops include his alma mater, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Two assistants have been retained from former coach Russ Huesman's staff — running backs coach Shawn Bryson and director of football operations Kadeem Wise. Arth said he targeted Bryson as a coach he wanted to remain on staff "if he was willing to stay."

"The first day I got here and had a chance to sit down with him, I could see how important his family was to him and how important his players were to him," Arth said. "He has great ties in recruiting and is a great person to be on our staff."

Arth said Wise "came so highly recommended by everyone in the athletics department." Wise was an All-American at UTC, and the fact that he played for the school he works at hit a soft spot with Arth, who was 40-8 as coach at his alma mater, NCAA Division III member John Carroll University, before joining the Mocs.

Justin Rascati will be the team's offensive coordinator and Nick Hennessey the offensive line coach. Brandon Staley is the defensive coordinator and will probably be in charge of the secondary, Brian Cochran the defensive line coach and Matthew Feeney the linebackers coach.

The average age of the reported staff is 33.8 years old.

In addition, the Times Free Press reported Thursday that Scott Aligo — director of player personnell for Arth at John Carroll this year — could be on the new UTC staff. On Thursday afternoon, Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman reported that Aligo's title at UTC would be "executive director of player personnel and recruiting."

The next live recruiting period begins next week. The Mocs currently have eight high school players committed, with offensive lineman Jack Doherty choosing to re-evaluate his commitment recently and wide receiver Colton Dowell de-committing from the program Thursday afternoon.

The Mocs also have quarterback Nick Tiano, a Mississippi State transfer who played at Baylor School.

"Assembling a staff was one of the most important things, and it started when I first got the call and found out that this was a potential opportunity," Arth said. "I reached out to people and put together a good pool of guys who were interested in coming here.

"The biggest thing for me is the type of person that they are and the type of people we want to have representing the university and working with our players. That is everything to me."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.

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